Sappy Posts

Snow Sculpture

A snow sculpture at the corner of 21st Avenue East and Fourth Street depicts an angel with her arms around weeping children. I was so moved that I had to pull over. Another bystander said this house does a snow sculpture every year but not usually one that makes so many want to stop and take a picture.

Young Female Eagle Struggles No More

Thankful in Duluth — 2012 Edition

Not that we aren’t generally grateful at Perfect Duluth Day, but, well … there is a category of posts called “Bitching” and not one called “Jubilant Praise” (although maybe “Recommendations” covers that). Anyway, at least once a year we do throw things open for folks to comment about what they are thankful for in this world (or Duluth specifically).

To start things off, on behalf of the PDD staff, I’d like to thank the nearly 2,000 people who have blogging accounts on PDD and keep the online Duluthist banter going day after day — not to mention the thousands more who lurk on the site, read it regularly, but keep their thoughts to themselves.

We should all be thankful for zero losses of human life during the Historic Summer Solstice Flood Disaster of 2012, although quite a few homes and possessions were wrecked and a few critters met their unpleasant demise. And we should all be thankful the Leap Day 2012 Snowmageddon happened or it pretty much would have been a snowless winter.

But it’s good to be thankful for the little things, too, so I’m going to focus on Goo Goo Cluster pie.

(Here’s what folks on PDD were thankful for in 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2003.)

Warm face on cold, national chain again

Every once in a while, I get special service at a shop that I would otherwise expect to be a cold, emotionless, national chain. I like to tip the hat here to those folks.

50 years of being “nice-icle”

Merv Griffin recorded this precious little ditty in 1962. Happy Christmas City of the North Parade everyone!

Give to the Max for the Lake Superior Zoo

The season for giving is upon us, and today, GiveMN’s Give to the Max day, our hearts are filled to the brim with love for our supporters. Needless to say, this year has taken a toll on not only the physical form of our zoo, but the staff as well. And yet, through the clouds, rain, and mud, an irrefutable ray of sunshine has beamed down upon us. Whether through a child’s lemonade stand, a random donation, or simply an encouraging comment given to our staff, these gestures have truly kept us going through some of the darkest times in our lives.

Give to the Max features thousands of nonprofit organizations and schools raising millions of dollars in one day, and we are honored to be a part of this event. Throughout the day, we have the opportunity to receive donations from supporters all across the world. In addition, GiveMN will award randomly selected nonprofits a $1,000 golden ticket every hour that will be attributed to the organization’s total donations. There is also the possibility to receive a one-of-a kind $10,000 golden ticket.

Your donation means the world to us. It means our future. And with your help, we have the ability to succeed in realizing our vision for your zoo. We have some incredible projects lined up to begin in the near future, including: naked mole rat colonies, a new train depot, and a brand new, multi-species bear exhibit complex.

You keep us driven, and you keep us smiling. You keep the animals happy, healthy, and comfortable. They appreciate you just as much as we do. And so, we ask for your help to keep reaching for the stars, to give what you can, and donate to our future, today.

Anyone growing grass indoors?

So first off, yes, this is an odd request. Secondly, no, I’m not looking for someone growing “grass,” I’m looking for someone who is growing grass (like the kind you’d find on your lawn) indoors.

The reason I’m looking for indoor lawn is that my kitty Zero, who has been with me for 17 years, is now on life number 8.999, and may need to be euthanized within the next few days. Being that I have a short time to make her happy before the end, I was hoping I could give her one of the things she enjoyed: standing in warm grass (and likely eating it, and very likely puking it up). Seeing as the current weather conditions are not condusive to allowing a geriatric cancer-cat to have one last romp in the lawn, I’m hoping that someone might have grass growing in a warmer location. Why someone would do this, I’m not even sure, but I figured I’d ask.

If you are growing grass indoors and wouldn’t mind having a sick kitty come visit for a few minutes, please comment below (I’ll clean up any possible kitty puke, I promise). Thanks!




I don’t want to argue, but Caroll Spinney was a shoo-in for the
2012 Nobel Peace Prize.

Boy with Red Balloon in Downtown Duluth

Here’s a short video (plus a few snapshots) that I took last spring following one of the Saturday Morning Film showings outside of Zinema 2 in Old Downtown Duluth. Hopefully they continue the series again this coming winter and spring. It was cheap, family friendly, and pretty dang engaging for the parents, grandparents and hipsters in the crowd, too. You don’t often get that combination from the megacineplex fare.

Do I get some kind of prize if I am the first person to use the “sappy stuff” tag? Bragging rights and/or swag would be acceptable.

Wildwoods Updates: Of Sandpipers, Squirrels, and More

The pectoral sandpiper released in this series of photographs was found injured up the north shore, was transported to Wildwoods where triage examination led to a referral to the exotic vets at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in St. Paul. The sandpiper was driven to St. Paul (on a car already headed that way), and cared for at WRC. When it was back to normal, it was loaded back onto a car headed back to Duluth (its other occupants filled with State Fair goodness), transported to Wildwoods, and eventually returned to Erik, who took these amazing pictures of his release.

New Darin Bergsven video is quite sappy

… and that’s just how I like it.  I hope you do, too.  This cover of the Pixies’ “Ana” is on my CD Out of Nowhere.  The video was made by Brian Barber; many thanks to him.

Henry Brick

Since the subject of Henry Brick came up in the “Bring back the bricks!” post, I thought I’d offer some background by way of a retrospective article I wrote 15 years ago for the Budgeteer News.

The man who saved downtown
By Paul Lundgren
Budgeteer News
June 1, 1997

The bricking of Downtown Duluth’s First Street in 1984 created traffic problems, parking hassles and unpleasant noise and dust. Retail shoppers took their money elsewhere. Superior Street was next on the bricking list in the summer of ’85, and business owners feared the effect on business would be similarly disastrous.

Then came Mr. Henry R. Brick, clad in overalls, flannel shirt, black bowtie, hard hat and horn-rimmed glasses. He starred in 38 television commercials that summer, encouraging shoppers to “come on down and jaywalk” through torn up Superior Street. They did.

Henry Brick quickly became one of the most highly recognized people in Duluth. When the construction was finally completed and the future of downtown secure, he disappeared – like any superhero would.

Bound: A Photography Exhibit Campaign

In July of 2011, Justin Sinks put together his first public showing of Bound. Even though it was 15 pieces and only took up half of the gallery, it was, according to Brian Rauvola, owner of the Duluth Photography Institute, “one of the biggest events the DPI had that year.”

His project experienced a set back due to flood damage at Lizzard’s Art Gallery in Duluth. It’s where he normally gets his photos mounted for shows. They are a wonderful local shop that do great work for a very good price. Due to the flood, their equipment was badly damaged and it doesn’t look like they will be able to repair or replace it any time soon. Now, he’s desperately looking for another place that can help him out without charging an arm and a leg on his original projected Kickstarter budget. There is only two days left to reach his pledge goal to be funded!

Please consider checking out his Kickstarter and donating to his amazing show and/or attending the event on August 3 from 5 to 10 p.m.

Happy ninth birthday to us

amy-abts august-rowley badger beer2astill BlackEyedSusans BobKaraoke brushstrokes christas-ass DaCrib dog-on-ice fitgers-beer-can FredTyson OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Geek GeekProm GoDuluth hazelsunglasses hotrod-heartthrob jerree-in-wig jjohnson louis-fire main-club-bob MrNice mvplvp pagan_cork pearl Psycho-Capone Ruvelplace ryan-van-slooten shaky-ray SHT Skateboarding borgbaci2 best ThankYouWilco BervLindsey

Perfect Duluth Day is nine years old today – Friday, June 29, 2012. We’ll be celebrating tonight at Tycoons Alehouse and Eatery (in the board room upstairs) starting at 8 p.m. There will be cake and an array of door prizes. Come on out and share in the merriment.

PDD Calendar entry | Facebook invite

What started as a fun little experiment for Barrett Chase and Scott “Starfire” Lunt in 2003 has grown into a hideous beast containing well over 10,000 posts about everything from wood ticks to roller derby. Thanks for all the support, whether you are a PDD user, lurker or just someone searching Google for karaoke photos.

Drying out

Compared to many people, our house wasn’t hit too bad by the flood. But our living room was flooded, the floor messed up, and more than 100 children’s books, some of which I’m quite sentimental about, were soaked. Today, I’m hopeful that they’ll dry out enough to keep. As we looked through them, I saw this one in the mix. Hopefully, it will dry out, too.

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